Leading with Open Source: Driving Innovation from Ground to Space
07-04, 09:15–10:00 (Europe/Tallinn), Van46 ring

Over the past fifty years, space technology has dramatically expanded our knowledge of Earth’s systems. Today, the challenge is to utilize the wealth of technology and big data from space to address pressing global challenges like climate change effectively.

The mature open-source ecosystem, long recognized as a catalyst for innovation and collaboration, supports sustainable initiatives that transcend coding to encompass governance and community engagement. Practices such as transparent collaboration, community-driven development, and iterative innovation accelerate development and foster a sustainable, inclusive model for global cooperation. The frameworks used by open-source projects provide essential lessons for addressing complex global challenges like climate change, underscoring the imperative for open-source leaders to help adopt and maintain these practices in mainstream scientific, political and industrial innovation. This leadership is key to initiating significant grassroots transitions, enabling communities and individuals to engage meaningfully in broad-scale strategies.

Together we will explore the role of the geospatial open-source innovation ecosystem as a collaborative endeavor linking policy, industry and society. This discussion will center on transitioning from Earth Observation Science and technology to impactful action. We will examine current hurdles and prospects of open-source innovation, connecting ecosystem-wide views to individual contributions. Highlighting open-source working practices, we aim to underscore the importance of fostering open-source leadership to encourage and spread grassroots innovations that empower communities.

Stefanie is an Earth Observation Application Scientist at the European Space Agency, leading product development and strategic industrial initiatives under European flagship projects such as Destination Earth (destination-earth.eu), and ESA’s Space for Green Future Accelerator. Her work focuses on enhancing community-driven technology solutions to global challenges such as climate change, with a commitment to sustainable, inclusive practices. She chairs the Big Data from Space conference (bigdatafromspace2023.org) and is a member of the Python Software Foundation and the Open Source Geospatial Foundation. Previously, she contributed as a core-developer and steering-council member of the Python Spatial Analysis Library (PySAL) and dask-geopandas, and mentored students through NumFocus and the Google Summer of Code.